Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Crazy Tara Reade and her buddy Gal Luft

Crazy Tara Reade reTweeted two supportive messages about her friend Gal Luft but did not compose her own.  Not everyone is so reticent.  Ewan Palmer (NEWSWEEK) notes:

The head of a U.S. think tank who has been charged with acting as an unregistered agent of China was linked to a former top CIA official who worked on Donald Trump's 2016 campaign team, it has been revealed.
Gal Luft is co-director of the Maryland-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. He has been charged with allegedly brokering deals involving weapons and Iranian oil with high-ranking U.S government officials without registering as a foreign agent.

Luft was previously believed to be a key figure in House Republicans' probe into the Biden family's alleged corrupt foreign business dealings, although was reported "missing" by GOP figures. Prosecutors have said that Luft was arrested on February 17, but subsequently fled after being released on bail and remains a fugitive.

One of the officials whom Luft is accused of covertly attempting to "recruit and pay, on behalf of principals based in China" was an adviser to the then President-elect Donald Trump, according to a 58-page indictment.

While he is not named in the indictment, the official is believed to be former CIA Director James Woolsey, who was a national security adviser to Trump during the 2016 election, reported the New York Post and The Messenger. Woolsey resigned from Trump's transition team just before the Republican took office at the White House in January 2017. There is no indication that Trump was aware of Luft's alleged offending at the time. Newsweek has contacted Trump's office for comment via email.

America, that is crazy Tara Reade's buddy.  She considers him a "whistle-blower" -- she also considers herself to be a whistle-blower.  Ken Meyer (MEDIAITE) notes:

The cast of Morning Joe could barely contain their laughter as they mocked Congressman James Comer (R-KY) over the reversal of fortune about the whistleblower he promised would expose the Biden family’s criminal corruption.

An unsealed indictment shows that Gal Luft, a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen and head of the Analysis of Global Security think tank, was charged with acting as a Chinese agent. Luft also faces charges stemming from his alleged attempts to broker arms deals and the illegal sale of Iranian oil.

Luft was arrested in Cyprus earlier this year but is currently a fugitive after skipping bail while awaiting extradition to the United States. This comes after Comer spent months touting the House Oversight Committee’s informant on President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, just for the whistleblower to go MIA.

Since Comer complained about his critics who’ve made fun of him on MSNBC in the past, Mika Brzezinski commented on “the stupidity” as Willie Geist recapped all of this for Morning Joe.

“I mean, seriously. How could we have doubted this guy?” Joe Scarborough said with obvious sarcasm. That’s when Brzezinski came up with a tongue-in-cheek name for the congressman: “Comer Simpson.”

Poor crazy Tara Reade.  I do love her Tweets about "the Biden regime," however.  Why do I love them?  It seems like they leave her stranded in Russia.  She can never take accountability so I do not see her being able to say, "I over did it."  Instead, she will just plant her feet down and stay in Russia.  Sorry, Russia, I do not hate your people, but I am so glad that, here in the U.S., we are getting a break from her.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Tuesday, July 11, 2023.  Katie Halper just gets more pathetic, climate change in Iraq has the UN concerned, nut jobs abound in the political race, and much more.

On the little watched YOUTUBE program THE KAITE HALPER SHOW yesterday, Katie continued her coverage of Roger Waters, continued her coverage from the Upper East Side she's fighting the fight, fighting the good fight.

This is so important.

Roger Waters is on death row.  Wrongly convicted for murder, he was sentenced to death in 1982.  The closest to a legal examination of his case took place in 2012 and that, at least, got him off death row.  A real appeal -- the Supreme Court has refused to hear one -- would most likely result in Roger's freedom.  For years now, legal advocates such as Heidi Boghosian have argued for Roger to be set free.  However --

What's that?

Oh, that's Mumia.  That's Mumia Abu-Jamal.  

That's right.  Mumia is a political prisoner.

Roger Waters?  He's an unknown to most people.  He was in the classic rock band Pink Floyd which was popular in the 70s.  Fans of David Gilmour can't stand Roger.  David played guitar and sang.  He and Roger have been in a war for decades now.  Fans of deceased original member Syd Barrett don't forget the way Waters and others disposed of him and the effect this had on Syd.

Roger Waters went to Germany, for those who missed it, in a desperate need for attention.  He'd already caused a huge number of problems before he went to Germany -- so much so that Germany tried to stop him from entering the country.  But he did the crap media rounds to get attention, he got to perform, in his performance he decided to do  Nazi salute.  He is now persecuted, to hear him whine or to hear Katie Useless whine.  

And that's what she now spends her time on.  It's not even pretending to be a show about real issues. 

And it delivered viewers!  Yes, 1,700 people have streamed it in the 12 hours it's been up.  For Katie, that passes for success.  

Some people dedicate their lives to real issues.  Then there's Katie who hides behind African-Americans she brings on to attack . . . other African-Americans.  See Katie doesn't believe in racism.  She thinks race is just a construct created to pit one person against another.  Yes, she is that stupid.  But if she couldn't trash African-Americans, what would she do?  What would this White Karen do?  We'll never know because when not trashing African-Americans on MSNBC or in the administration, Katie tears her teeth into the ultimate niche issues such as someone who was never famous (Roger Waters) and treating every utterance from or by him as the most important political issue of the day.  Or else, she just giggles through an interview with Scott Ritter -- you know the convicted pedophile who is a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

Those who would argue she's wasted her life should first answer: What life?

She has none.  Daddy's little spoiled girl.  The failed comic, the failed everything. 

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN has warned of a “grim picture” in the marshes in southern Iraq due to climate change and water scarcity.

Drought-hit Iraq is going through a severe water crisis with supplies dwindling in its main rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, coupled with a continuing heatwave in which temperatures are exceeding 50°C in some areas of the country.

This has turned large parts of Iraq, including the fabled wetlands – a Unesco World Heritage Site – into arid areas, forcing many of the occupants to migrate to urban areas.

“The marshes are experiencing the most severe heatwave in the last 40 years, accompanied with a sudden water shortage in the Euphrates river,” the food agency said in a statement late on Monday.

“The dire situation is having a devastating impact on the marshes system; buffalo producers, farmers, and fisheries, forcing many of them to leave their homes and migrate … searching for drinking water, food, feed and employment,” it said.

“Unfortunately, the current situation in July 2023 reflects a grim picture,” it warned, expressing concerns over the “grave consequences” of climate change and the shortage in water.

Iraq does not have a diversified economy.  And that keeps causes concern.  Dropping back to the June 12th snapshot:

 In other news,  Ahmed Rasheed and Timour Azhari (REUTERS) report that Iraq has finally passed the 2023 budget -- finally: 

Iraq's parliament on Monday approved a 2023 budget of 198.9 trillion dinars ($153 billion) that sets out record spending on a growing public wage bill and development projects to improve services and rebuild infrastructure ruined by neglect and war.

The budget deficit is estimated at a record 64.36 trillion Iraq dinars, more than double the last budget deficit in 2021, according to a budget document and lawmakers.

It only took over six months and a scolding from the United Nations' Security Council, but they finally passed a 2023 budget.  Sinan Mahoud (THE NATIONAL) adds:

But analysts said far too much money will be spent on salaries, including allocations for hundreds of thousands of new jobs. They said Iraq will not be able to afford this spending outlay if oil prices fall below $70.

The operational expenditure stands at 133.22 trillion dinars (about $102.5 billion) while investment expenditure will be 49.35 trillion dinars ($37.9 billion). The remainder of expenditure will mainly go to debt servicing.

It is based on an assumed average oil price over three years of $70 a barrel, with an average daily crude oil output of 3.5 million barrels, including 400,000 from the Kurdistan region.

The government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani is planning to repeat it next year and in 2025, although parliament will be able to vote on amendments. Iraq’s fiscal year usually starts on January 1.

Saturday, Kamaran Palani and Khogir W. Mohammed (ALJAZEERA) explained:

On June 12, it passed a generous budget through the parliament – the biggest in Iraq’s history – which is supposed to fund its plan to expand essential services, such as electricity and water provision and build new infrastructure and housing in major cities. But these initiatives are by far not enough to address the severe political, socioeconomic and climate challenges the country is facing.

Those necessitate major reforms in the political and economic sectors, which the government does not have the mandate to undertake. Sooner or later, the suppressed political crisis will resurface.

Last year, the Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, combined with oil supply shortages, caused a surge in oil prices, with the average price per barrel reaching $100.

This resulted in handsome profits for energy exporters, including Iraq, which saw its oil revenues jump from $75.5bn in 2021 to $115bn in 2022.

[. . .]

It is crucial to note that Iraq’s financial stability is heavily dependent on the price of oil, which is an unstable factor. The country also has a significant budget deficit, estimated at $49bn in the 2023 budget. In the event of a decline in the price of oil, the country would face significant financial difficulties which could quickly translate into political instability.

Furthermore, the current state of affairs – while appearing positive to some observers – is exacerbating Iraq’s major problems. Pouring money into armed groups only strengthens them and further weakens the state. It makes it that much more difficult – if not impossible – for the government to get back monopoly over the use of force in the country.

The lack of diversity in Iraq's economy not only sets up for the ebb and flow of international markets, it also does real damage to the country -- in terms of pollution, for example.  Majid Rafizadeh (ARAB NEWS) notes:

Some of the most critical steps that Iraq can take to address climate change include using more solar energy, restoring damaged ecosystems and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The last of these can be done through investments in efficient infrastructure, which reduces emissions.
Other methods include investing in renewable energy plants, recycling more, financing green companies and startups that are involved in renewable and green energy, agriculture, conserving water and upgrading old irrigation methods, and preserving the country’s biodiversity, as well as reducing Iraq’s carbon dioxide emissions.
When it comes to these important fields, the development of domestic, knowledge-based industries has arguably become an urgent necessity, rather than a welcome add-on.
It is worth noting that, as a developing country, Iraq has disproportionately experienced the impacts of loss and damage caused by climate change. This is why it is important to point out that tackling the climate crisis requires all countries, especially the developed ones, to take action. This means that poorer countries need support in order to adapt to and address the climate crisis.
In the long term, if some of the damage from climate change, such as water scarcity and a lack of agricultural resources, continues to increase in Iraq to the extent that freshwater resources are depleted, this will have an impact on national security and political stability. Such devastating impacts can also lead to a decrease in human health.

There have been serious signs for some time and Iraq's government refuses to address the issue.  Here's a 2018 Tweet.

Grasp that this is how it will end.

Thousands of dead fish have washed ashore in southeast Iraq, prompting an official investigation into the wildlife disaster that officials said Monday may be linked to drought conditions.

Recently, a large number of dead fish were washed up on the banks of the Amshan river in Maysan province, which borders Iran.

Khodr Abbas Salman, a Maysan province official, has verified that some of the factors that led to these dead fish were the lack of oxygen in the river and the rise in salinity.

An environmental campaigner, Ahmed Saleh Neema, also acknowledged that it is the rising temperature that contributes to the increasing salinity and low oxygen levels in the water. It has not yet been ascertained whether toxic chemical substances also caused the huge numbers of dead fish.

AFP notes, "In a similar phenomenon in 2018, fishermen in the central province of Babylon found dead carp in their thousands, but an investigation failed to discern what had caused it."  Rebekah Evans (THE WEEK ) observes:

When many thousands of Iraqis turn on their taps “nothing comes out”, said Hayder Indhar for Phys.org.

So dire is the country’s water crisis – 7 million of its citizens have reduced access to water, according to the UN – many villagers are relying on “sporadic tanker-truck deliveries and salty wells” for drinking water.

 While Iraq is known in Arabic as the Land of the Two Rivers, split as it is by the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, the water levels of both have fallen markedly. The results have been no less than devastating. 

For Firas Mohammed, a former fisherman, life has been totally transformed by the shortage. Gesturing towards a “trickle of lime green liquid nearby”, he told Al Jazeera that “even dogs avoid it”. “If the government decided to move us to a camp with freshwater to cope with this crisis, we would even accept being moved to Ukraine,” he added. 

Mou’ad Abel was able to return to his village in 2016 “after the area was liberated from ISIL”, but despite also working as a fisherman in his youth, he was shocked to discover “there are no fish anymore”, the news site added.

The reasons behind the crisis are numerous. Some cite shortages and low river levels in neighbouring countries; others point to the alleged mismanagement of water by local authorities. Regardless of who is to blame, one thing is abundantly clear: the issue must be solved before it becomes too late for the millions of people reliant on a clean water supply. 

According to the United Nations, some “90 per cent of the country’s rivers are polluted”. Iraq is facing a “critical climate emergency”, said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN special representative for Iraq, as by 2035 it is thought the nation will have the capacity to “meet only 15 per cent of its water demands”. 

Desertification – the process by which fertile land becomes arid – is also a growing concern within the nation. It can be caused by both human factors and climate change.


Back in March, Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) quoted the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, stating, "There is an urgent need to find solutions to the water crisis in Iraq."

While it fails to address climate change seriously, it wastes money on many things (including corruption and theft).  Paul Iddion (FORBES) notes:

Recurring reports since 2021 have indicated Iraq has been negotiating deals for 12 JF-17 Thunder from Pakistan and 14 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France. Baghdad is either exploring its options or plans on acquiring both combat aircraft.

Iraq reportedly concluded a $664 million deal for 12 JF-17 Block 3 jets from Pakistan following over two years of negotiations, The News International in Pakistan reported on July 9, citing unnamed sources.

Turning to the US political race, Jeet Heer (THE NATION) notes,  "There is a lethal stench of overcompensation in DeSantis: The harder he tries to be Trump, the more fake he seems. Pretending to be Patrick Bateman isn’t going to convince anyone that DeSantis is a macho man."  Ron DeSantis will not be ignored -- nor course corrected.  The obits are being drafted for Little Ronnie's funeral (Mikes' "Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis is going for the gold" collects some of them).  Grabbing the vapors, FOX NEWS' Juan Williams rushes to USA TODAY to exclaim:

There is no good explanation for what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing, unless you think he can win GOP votes by proving he hates gay people.

As hardball politics go, this is dubious strategy.

Is there is a single voter now with former President Trump who will jump to DeSantis because the governor has tape of Trump saying nice things about gay and transgender people? Has DeSantis seen political gain in attacking drag shows?

“He is alienating college-educated, suburban voters who want to move past Trump,” Sarah Longwell, a Republican political analyst who studies focus groups of GOP voters, told the New York Times last week.

Nut job Ron DeSantis continues to pursue the Republican Party's Presidential nomination while nut job Robert F. Kennedy Jr continues to pursue the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.   At POLITICO, Jack Shafer argues that Junior doesn't even want the nomination, he just wants attention:

What Kennedy does undeniably desire is public attention, something his presidential campaign is delivering, with critical profiles in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time, the Atlantic and a particularly damning and comprehensive one by Rebecca Traister in New York magazine. In just a couple of months, Kennedy has gone from “that anti-vaccine guy” to a staple of cable news coverage, making him The Top Kennedy for now, even if much of the publicity is bad. It’s always been a competitive clan, so he’s got to be happy that he now occupies a larger presence in the public mind than his cousin Caroline Kennedy, an ambassador to Japan and now Australia, larger than her brother John Kennedy Jr., who dominated the headlines until his accidental death in 1999. Because it’s been so long since his father and famous uncles died, Bobby Jr. might even have eclipsed them as The Top Kennedy among younger voters.

The political gene, which often comes bundled with the one for narcissism, never adequately thrives until fed by some form of adulation. Even the negative adulation of the recent profiles can be read as “I must be doing something right because they’re all knocking me” for somebody as thirsty for attention as Kennedy. He’s winning there, too.

The following sites updated: